Raiders defensive lineman Richard Seymour is worried about the replacement officials the NFL has hired, questioning whether the league has taken care to hire people who not only understand the rules of the NFL, but will apply those rules fairly.
“I think the integrity of the game is at stake,” Seymour told USA Today. “You never know who they know and who they’re connected to. And who are their favorite teams. To just say we’ve got some new guys coming in, who knows? They might admire Peyton Manning.”
It seems rather unlikely that some official who’s a Peyton Manning fan would consciously decide to make calls to help Manning. But it is a concern that the NFL has apparently relaxed its normal standards in hiring replacement officials while the regular officials and the NFL are involved in a contract dispute. Seymour says he’s worried about second-rate officials making big mistakes.
“It’s just the unknown,” he says. “I’m not a fan of the replacements. Our regular refs, they work so hard to prepare themselves all throughout the year. They put in a ton of work to compete at the highest level. I want the best of the best.”
At the moment, the best of the best are watching NFL games from home.